By Kristi Parker, editor
WICHITA - The details are still unclear of what happened in The Store parking lot in the early morning of Oct. 6. Owner Donna Binns couldn’t be reached for comment, but what is clear is the building was struck several times by a pickup driven by John A. Greer. The driver then ran over a man several times before leading police on a brief car chase.
It appears Greer, 38, also tried to set the front door of The Store on fire and did set the man’s SUV on fire before he fled. What isn’t confirmed is the victim, a 33-year-old man, is said to be a new bartender of The Store working his first shift. He was purportedly there with another employee and that the situation was a love triangle of sorts.
OVERLAND PARK – The Ten Tenors might put you in the holiday spirit in more than one way.
Australia’s most famous musical export will perform its “Home for the Holidays” concert twice early in December at Johnson County Community College. Besides bringing Christmas cheer, the singing troupe invites you to share in its fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. More on that in a minute.
The 10 guys who make up The Ten Tenors will perform at 2pm and 8pm on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall. Their holiday concert features traditional and contemporary favorites such as Joy to the World, Sleigh Ride, White Christmas and Amazing Grace. Tickets range from $33-$49. For details and a two-minute show reel, visit jccc.edu/TheSeries.
By Ciara Reid, staff reporter
LAWRENCE - Dr. Hiten Soni loves what he does. A psychiatrist with a focus on LGBT issues, Dr. Soni opened Interpersonal Psychiatry in 2013 in Lawrence, recognizing the need for psychiatry assistance and support in the community.
Well into his 30s, Dr. Soni was on a very different career path as an environmental engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency. Over time, he became increasingly dissatisfied with his career. “My lifelong dream was to become a doctor,” Dr. Soni says. “At the age of 38, I quit my job and pursued medical school. I graduated from Psychiatry residency in 2013 from UMKC.”
It was in medical school that Dr. Soni developed a passion for the LGBT community, becoming friends with LGBT medical students during his training. He noticed that the psychiatry residency did not address “mainstream” sexuality issues, let alone LGBT-related issues. So he obtained additional training at Florida Postgraduate Institute for Sex Therapy and Analytical Institute of Greater Kansas City. He began educating himself on the issues and attending training events.
WICHITA - Nourish spirit and body at Breakfast For the Soul, an informational event and family-friendly gathering meant to recharge and take a bit of time away from the holiday rush. Breakfast for the Soul, hosted by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita, will take place Saturday morning, Dec. 17 from 8am-1pm, at 7202 E. 21st St. Free child care will be provided; tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for kids.
Tables with information and resources on spiritual practices that emphasize meditation and other stress-reducing activities will be available, including information about new meditation classes to begin at the church Jan. 23.
WICHITA - American Rose Theatre has steamy plans for New Year’s Eve. The Wichita burlesque group is putting on an event called “Once Upon a New Year’s Dream” that includes dinner, a fairy-tale-themed burlesque show: “Once Upon a Pastie,” a New Year’s Eve Ball (black-tie attire), complete with a champagne toast and entertainment from the Rudy Love’s band, and a shuttle for a hotel stay at Wyndham Gardens.
By Greg Dalton-White
WICHITA - Bring the family out for a fun-filled evening of Christmas songs from the movies! Heart of America Men’s Chorus proudly presents “Lights, Camera, Christmas!” The concert will start at 7:30pm on Saturday, Dec. 10 and 4:30pm on Sunday. Dec. 11. Tickets are available at the door - $15 for adults, $5 for students. Groups of ten or more can get a special rate by calling 316-708-4837.
The concert includes songs from Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express and The Nightmare Before Christmas. There will also be hot chocolate, fruitcake and, a medley from the perennial crowd-pleaser, White Christmas, plus many more.
WICHITA - Got plans for New Year’s Eve? If not, a new option is opening that very night catered towards the LGBT community. Owners Jerry Nguyen and Chad Porter along with general manager Dave Perkins are opening a new dance club called XY Bar. According to a story by Matt Riedl of the Wichita Eagle, the group would like to recreate the success of the Fantasy Complex, which closed in 2015.
The guys, whose chromosomes inspired the name XY, found a space at 235 N. Mosley in the heart of Old Town. It’s situated between Revolution Lounge and the Pumphouse in the former Stepps Cocktails and Ales space.
WICHITA - The WSR Signature Theatre will present Lionel Bart’s award-winning musical Oliver! on Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 8pm and Dec. 4 and 11 at 7pm at the Wichita Scottish Rite located at 332 E. 1st St.
Oliver! is a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist. The story follows Twist, a young orphan who joins a gang of pickpockets on the streets of London after being forced to leave the workhouse where he grew up. Twist navigates his way with guidance and help from characters like Fagin, the Artful Dodger, Nancy, Mr. Bumble, and Bill Sikes.
WICHITA - Wichita Pride this month announced the dates for the 2017 Pride March and Festival. After listening to input from Wichita’s LGBTQ community, the Pride board of directors chose the weekend of June 17-18.
“Pride celebrations are traditionally a June event across the United States,” Travis Hooper, Wichita Pride president, said. “While we’ve had successful events in September since 2012, many in our community have asked us to move our celebration back to June.”
I’m scared. I’m scared for my business, my community and my country. I’m angry, depressed, sad, in shock, outraged, frightened and worried. I’m disappointed. I don’t want to live in a country that elects the likes of Donald Trump to be President. But running away isn’t feasible.
Although I have been avoiding most news since the election, I have been finding comfort in hearing from others who are as wounded as I am. Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven wrote the day after, “It hurts. As a woman, a Jew, a queer it hurts that so many people yearn for a white, straight, Christian America that never existed. It hurts that ambition is a bad thing for a woman to have. It hurts that we have made our country a more perfect union, but the racism built into our founding has still not been repealed, and the civil war is still not over.”
She goes on to reassure, “Lambda Legal will hold the line when our rights are under attack. We know how to fight the government in the courts when the other branches are closed off - we did it in those dark years after 2004, and still we made progress. We will do it again now - and this time Americans know who we are and stand with us.”
I have been encouraged by the protests that I have seen on TV and by the hundreds that have protested in Wichita. But I am still physically ill and I’m still in denial. I have started on the path of “maybe it’ll be okay.” But I can’t fully get there. I haven’t even been able to discuss the trauma from the election with anyone yet - not even my therapist.
I read a rebuttal letter in the Wichita Eagle from a woman discounting the people who are telling Democrats to “get over it.” She wrote that we needed more time; that this was huge. And this was especially huge for women who supported Hillary and wanted to live to see a woman President in their lifetime. That was validating.
Hillary’s concession speech was uplifting and professional. I thought she was very brave, but I couldn’t understand how she could ask her supporters to give Trump a chance to lead.
And then I read Leonard Pitts’ Nov. 21 column: “Is that what Republicans did for Barack Obama when they gathered on the night of his inauguration and plotted a conspiracy of obstructionism to cripple his presidency? Is it what Donald Trump did when he spent years questioning the veracity of an ordinary birth certificate?,” he wrote.
By Grayson Barnes
I have no idea where to begin. All I know is that I cannot think of anything else. I cannot WRITE about anything else. I am a Pagan, vegetarian, multi-ethnic, Pansexual Transman and I am frightened. I am an educator and I don’t know what to say.
It’s because of our President-Elect.
Since the election I have been physically ill. I stayed in my bed as often as I could, because at least asleep, I wouldn’t have to deal with it. If I wasn’t asleep, I was binge-watching something on TV to stay distracted. Something without commercials or commentary. I thought I was just depressed -- you know, that lovely cycle again.
I thought I was simply sad that my fellow Americans had elected a narcissistic misogynist. I have personally lived with that before, therefore I felt I was merely responding to the echo of my own psychological history, if you will.
Then I got stupidly angry. I discovered myself blowing minor slights out of proportion: the guy walking on the wrong side of the street, the lady who insisted on letting her dog poop in my yard, or the parent that wouldn’t deal with her screaming child in the grocery store.
I found myself sporting for a fight. Luckily I didn’t run down the guy on the street, even though, I confess, I REALLY considered it. Nor did I yell at the (what I thought was the) irresponsibility of those two women, because I was educated to be a law-abiding and TOLERANT person.
So what was the root of my depression and rage? When I got out of my own way enough, I realized underneath it all was fear. I felt cornered and wanted to chew a hole right through the chests of my attackers. To me it was EVERYONE out there. I was reduced to an animal.
Scarily enough, I don’t think I am alone in my fear.